Best Lake Vacations and Lake Resorts

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It’s time to swap out formal outfits for a fresh, trendy look. Bring out your sophisticated and vibrant side and flaunt what you’ve got by the lake. Sounds refreshing, right?

The first thing that comes to mind when we think of a beach vacation is the ocean. What you might not know is that lakes also have amazing beaches. 

The best part? Unlike ocean fronts, the lakes are less crowded, and you won’t have to break the bank to pay for it.

Having fun doesn’t have to mean loud and crazy. If you're looking to enjoy a fun vacation in a peaceful environment, the lakeside is the perfect destination for you.

Wondering where to visit? We’ve done all the work for you. Sit back, relax, and picture a margarita in your hand as we give you our top lake destination choices, our favorite thing about them, and send you on your merry way to a splendid vacation.

Vacationing at the Best Lake Resorts and Lakes on the East Coast

Island Camping at Lake George

Lake George

Dubbed the “Queen of American Lakes” for its beauty and splendor, Lake George is the perfect spot for a family lake vacation along the east coast. The lake boasts 109 miles of shoreline, over 300 islands, and serves as the gateway to the Southern Adirondacks.

Enjoy your vacation in a secluded spot by renting an island campsite on the lake. These idyllic locations are accessible by boat only.

The islands have breathtaking views on both the east and west sides. For nature lovers, enjoy a beautiful lakeside getaway where you get to watch the sunrise and the sunset from the same spot and sleep under the stars.

The camping sites have access to the lake where you can take a dip. Grace the lake in style with a beautiful, over-the-shoulder one-piece on those sunny afternoons. 

Each spot has built-in outdoor furniture―the perfect setup for hanging out with your family or friends, sharing meals, or playing board games.

Water Rafting at Lake Lure, North Carolina

Lake Lure

Lake Lure is a beautiful man-made lake that’s famous for “Dirty Dancing,” where the movie was filmed. Spreading across14.7 square miles, this lake is revered for its beautiful forested mountain landscapes and waterfalls.

The best lake vacations include fun activities. For the time of your life, make a grand entrance into the lake by water rafting from the Rocky Broad River. 

With a variety of kid-friendly activities, Lake Lure is one of our favorite lake vacation spots for a family vacation. The most popular attraction is the 60-feet long natural sliding rock that kids enjoy as they slide into the tidal pool.

Embark on a journey through time on the legendary Lake Lure tours in a tunic cover-up. Guided by a local skipper, discover the local attractions and landmarks as you learn the rich cultural history of Hickory Nut Gorge, the lake’s home.

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the state of New Hampshire, surrounded by three mountain ranges stretching across a total area of 72 square miles. 

Enjoy one of the best lake vacations at these crystal-clear waters with over 200 miles of wooded shoreline. The beautiful surroundings, water sports, and myriad fun activities at this spring-fed lake make it a popular summer resort and a place to relax in your stylish one-piece.

Take a tour to the Castle in the Clouds, a historic 16-bedroom mansion with breathtaking surroundings. Explore the history of the mansion on a self-guided basement tour. Every room has a staff member waiting to answer all your questions.

The marinas at the lake offer boat rentals. Hire a vessel and embark on a boat ride as you explore the vastness of the lake and discover hidden spots. 

Explore the Beautiful Lakes on the West Coast

Enjoy the Scenic View of Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Crater Lake is the deepest in the whole of the US at a depth of 594 meters. This scenic body of water is one of the most beautiful lakes and is famous for its deep blue color, water clarity, and having no water inlets. All the water from the lake comes from rain or snow.

Surrounded by cliffs, the lake boasts a scenic view and is the centerpiece of Crater Lake National Park. Explore the magnificent landscape of the state park on a hike along the trails. Depending on your strength, you get to choose the type of route from:

  • Easy
  • Moderate 
  • Strenuous 
  • Backcountry

Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Toketee waterfalls along an uphill hike on one of the short trails. Hike down to the bottom of the falls for a swim in a vibrant mid-rise bottom. The falls waters are cold, but the adventure across the terrain is well worth it. 

Take a boat tour to the Wizard for a spectacular view of a paradise island. The Wizard Island is a volcanic cone that’s part of the remains of a volcanic eruption that took place 7,000 years ago. Learn more on the tour with a narrated history of the lake and its formation. 

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine lake in North America. At 1,645 feet, it’s the 2nd deepest lake after Crater Lake (1,943 feet deep).

Lake Tahoe is said to be one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the United States. It’s an ideal lake vacation destination that attracts tourists with its natural beauty, towering mountains, and tall cliffs. 

A trip to Lake Tahoe isn’t complete without a sightseeing cruise to Emerald’s Bay. Slip into your favorite swim dress as you enjoy a two-hour cruise and explore the beautiful coastline of this magnificent lake.

Wine Tasting at Lake Chelan, Washington

Lake Chelan

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Lake Chelan is narrow, boasting a length of 55 miles. The shoreline is world-renowned for the Chelan apples. About 10,000 acres of the Chelan Valley are solely dedicated to growing apples.

Lake Chelan is known as a wine country. For wine enthusiasts, visit one of the 35-plus wineries to learn more about the subtle art of winemaking. The vineyards are always open for wine tasting and sharing their history with you.

One of the must-visit wineries is the Benson Vineyards Estate. Situated on top of a hill, it has a breathtaking view of the lake. Treat yourself with a bottle straight from the vineyard as you enjoy the sun on a relaxing afternoon.

The perfect way to explore the lake is on a boat ride. Ride off with your friends to different parts of the lake. Take some food and drinks with you and have a little party in the middle of the lake wearing a sophisticated off-shoulder piece.

Favorite Lake Vacations in the South Coast

Picnic on a Vineyard at Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake is the 2nd largest and prettiest freshwater body in Virginia. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains valley, the lake’s surroundings make for a stunning backdrop. Being a popular destination, the shoreline is highly developed with beautiful structures.

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind wine tasting experience down at the Hickory Hills Vineyard. You’ll get to sample over ten different wine bottles. Feel the afternoon breeze as you sip on the fine-tasting wines on a shaded picnic table under a tree. 

Be sure to take a bottle home with you to enjoy by the poolside on a weekend afternoon in a stylish high-waisted bottom. The SML sunset goes down a treat with a sweet blend of Chardonnay and Vidal with no oak. 

Vacationing with your girls? Perfect. Enjoy an unforgettable girls’ night out experience on the Virginia Dare Cruises and Marina. You’ll have dinner and drinks in an over-the-water restaurant while you take in the beauty of Smith Mountain Lake.

Explore Wildlife at Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee

With a total area of 730 square miles, Lake Okeechobee is the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the entire US. Historically known for agriculture, this lake has grown in popularity with tourists for superior fishing, boating, and hiking trails.

Lake Okeechobee is one of the best ways to catch sight of the natural wonders of the Florida landscape, teeming with wildlife ranging from:

  • Everglade snail kites
  • Wading birds
  • Waterfowl
  • Purple gallinules
  • Fish
  • Frogs
  • Snakes 
  • Turtles
  • Alligators

Be at one with nature at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park while still enjoying the comforts of home. A perfect romantic getaway where you'll get an astounding view of the constellation with pristine dark skies. 

A trip to the lake isn’t complete without an attempt at fishing. Relish reeling in fish with the experts in an elegant buttoned-down shirt. The Okeechobee Bass Guide Service grants you access to a boat and captain to take you on an immersive fishing experience. 

Vacation at the Lake in Style

The best vacations are spent traveling to new places with those we love. There’s nothing better to get your mind off work and enjoy the heat than a vacation packed with fun activities and, best of all, a cool body of water away from home.

Whether it’s by the lake or the hotel poolside, treat yourself to a stylish swim dress and enjoy a break from your normal routine. 

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